Friday, June 8, 2012

Learn the German Language at STLCC Florissant Valley

Photo by Bradley J. Rayford/Forum
Above: STLCC FV Professor Christel Handel

By Holly Shanks of the Forum

   Florissant Valley is offering German language classes and even a chance to put those new skills to use in Germany.  The classes are offered in the fall semester with German I and German II in the Spring semester.  A possible trip to Germany is being planned for 2013 and would be an optional trip.
  The culture is not just something students will learn only through the textbook. Students will get first hand accounts from a professor who settled in America directly from Germany. Christel Handel, adjunct professor of economics and German language at STLCC-FV, teaches the classes and lends insights into her heritage that will enhance the student’s understanding of Germany and the language.         
 Along with class room studies, the students may take optional field trips to examine and learn about German artifacts in the Art Museum, eat at a German restaurant or have a chance to meet and have discussions with new German immigrants in the St. Louis area. 
  Handel states that the German culture has had many influences in America. Some of the influences include medical advancements, including x-rays and a German tailor named Levi Strauss, that saw a need for sturdy work wear and used the material that covered wagons to create pants. Today, those pants have evolved into Levi Strauss jeans and are recognized world-wide.      
  Scholarship programs for study abroad as well as finding a work study or employment in Germany is a growing area and learning the German language can give advantages and opportunities to anyone thinking of going to Germany for academic or employment reasons. For more information on scholarships and international student exchange programs in Germany visit
 Travel to Germany will give students a chance to use the skills learned in the STLCC-FV German language classes. Using the language while directly interacting with the German population and their culture will help give a deeper understanding and relation to what the students have learned. More information about the optional trip to Germany will be released in the near future.  
  Handel is an enthusiastic American and German immigrant who is excited to offer her experiences and the German language to students at Flo Valley. “When you know a different language you gain an extra soul,” she says with passion.
  Handel states that she was a co-founder for the German American Heritage Society (GAHS) in St. Louis and many people in the area have German heritage. Anyone interested in tracing a German ancestry can visit for more information.
 Questions for the German classes or the possible 2013 trip to Germany please contact Kelly Mueller at 314-513-4136 or

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